CLEVELAND — The stage is set at for Saturday’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, but not without some big changes this year.
The ceremony, taking place at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for the first time, is back home in Cleveland for the first time since 2018. CEO and President Greg Harris says the decision to move the ceremony from the Cleveland Public Auditorium on Lakeside Avenue was not easy.
“We’ve always talked about potentially moving it and the reason that we really looked at it in a bigger way was because it was against the newest most up-to-date arena in the country,” he said. “We were balancing that with the history of Public Auditorium.”
Nonetheless, the move calls for more COVID-19 protocols with fan entry and behind the scenes. It’s a different approach given last year’s ceremony was canceled in-person and instead captured through a TV special.
Harris says in effort to follow health and safety guidelines this year, his team has “wonderful advisers. We have infectious disease experts that are helping us.”
Under protocol, fans attending the ceremony are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours before their tickets can be scanned. To expedite the process, fans can use the CLEAR Health Pass, a free service on the CLEAR mobile app that provides a seamless way to upload proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result.
“By enrolling and completing the health screening requirements BEFORE arriving to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, CLEAR’s technology will verify the user’s identity and allow for FASTER entry,” a press release noted.
“Hollywood pioneered the standards for the shows they did in the last year. We lifted them up; we brought them here to Cleveland and we’re going to deliver something that is off the charts,” said Harris.
Behind the scenes, staff, artists and production crews will follow even more protocols regarding rigorous COVID-19 testing.
“Even if crew have been vaccinated they still need to be tested and the test is good for 48 hours and then they get retested,” Harris said.
Harris says they partnered with a private company that specializes in COVID-19 compliance for major venues and arenas to ensure prompt test results as many COVID-19 labs are backed up because of demand.
“They are doing all of our lab testing pretty much on the spot. They collect the samples they have the results within an hour. [It’s] s very quick turnaround and that’s their sole responsibility and they take care of that,” Harris said.